Venue News: Sacramento Arena Decision Deadline Nears; BYU To Install LED Video Boards

By a unanimous vote, the Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday night to allow staff to enter into detailed talks with 11 firms seeking to lease downtown parking. An agreement with one of those companies is being counted on to provide up to half of the $387 million bill for a new downtown sports arena. In approving deeper talks with those parking firms, the City Council showed it supports moving forward on an attempt to create a financing plan for an arena by March 1 and avoid losing the Sacramento Kings. It’s a shift from just one week ago, when four council members voted to place the parking plan on the June ballot – a move that likely would have stalled the arena project beyond March 1. City staff is in tense negotiations with representatives from the National Basketball Association, the Kings, arena operator AEG, and the arena development team to round out the facility’s financing plan. Those talks are expectedLa to continue for at least another two weeks, as the city works to create a financing “term sheet” for the arena by month’s end. The council would then be asked Feb. 28 to approve that term sheet in a vote that could determine whether the Kings remain in town…

…Brigham Young University announced that, with the help of corporate sponsors, it is going to replace the scoreboards and video walls at LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU plans to put in LED video scoreboards in both end zones, as well as ribbon boards across the top of the stands.The project is in the final stages of planning. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2012, with completion projected by the home opener on Sept. 1 versus Washington State. Cougar Stadium (renamed LaVell Edwards Stadium in 2000) opened in 1964 with approximately 30,000 seats. In 1996, a video wall was added to the south end zone and a matrix scoreboard to the north end zone. The north end zone scoreboard was updated in 2008 to include a small video board. Recent upgrades to club seating in LaVell Edwards Stadium makes the current capacity 63,470…

…Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner was in court in Manhattan on Tuesday arguing against critics’ claims that they have a sweetheart deal with New York State to develop the project on any timetable they choose. This last remaining lawsuit, eight years into the saga, will not impact construction of the Nets’ $1 billion Barclays Center arena near downtown Brooklyn nor its scheduled opening in September. That is the first of more than a dozen buildings scheduled to go up – eventually. And that’s where this legal action comes in: If the project’s original 10-year timetable is now more realistically a 25-year one for full buildout, is a Supplemental Environmental Impact statement required? The state-run Empire State Development Corp. has an interesting take, saying that a longer construction timetable simply lessens intensity of impact by spreading it out over more years – meaning that new studies are not required…

…A flap over three lighted-red-letter signs proposed for the top ring of the Denver Broncos’ stadium has riled neighborhood groups, produced an avalanche of e-mails, and is leading to a showdown today in front of the city’s planning board. Officials from Englewood-based Sports Authority, which paid $150 million last summer for the stadium naming rights, say they have responded to the community’s concerns by holding 25 meetings with neighbors, agreeing to limit when the 9½-feet-by-178-feet signs are illuminated, and conducting lighting studies that they say show a “negligible” impact. The company wants to add five new signs to the stadium, including three red-lettered signs that spell out “Sports Authority Field” on the east, west, and north sides of the metal band that loops around the upper part of the stadium. Each sign would be 9½ feet tall and 178 feet long. Neighbors opposed to the plan are concerned about the upper signs’ brightness and scale.